I first travelled to India in 1996, and this trip would be just short of three weeks, I was travelling with some friends and one, in particular, had been to India a good few times to preach the gospel.
This then would be my first overseas mission and also the very first time I had ever had the opportunity of preaching the gospel outside of the UK. From that time until the present I have travelled to India many times and I have become well accustomed to the culture and know exactly how to communicate the message of the gospel to many different peoples from as many backgrounds and social standing as you could imagine. Now in saying all that, I love to go to rural India, to travel many hours and even days to get to very remote locations, India is growing fast and believe me when I say that some of the remote areas I first visited are not as remote as they use to be. I remember first arriving in a village on the outskirts of Vijayawada, the very first night I was throwing out frogs, cockroaches, the place was full of Lizards, and on one occasion there was a very large snake in the room, the heat was intense so no sleep and cold-water showers in the morning all go to make up and typify what mission is all about, well, especially in the early days. And in saying all that, I absolutely loved it.
WHERE HAVE ALL THE MISSIONARIES GONE?
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12)
I am sat at Delhi airport waiting for a connecting flight to Odisha for a short mission trip there, I have to wait five hours so why not use that time and write this short article (2018). I have just completed two weeks ministering in the remote areas of Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Nepal, I am not joking when I say the rooms, I have been lodging in have been a bit basic, cold showers and sometimes in the dark as there was no electric and one room had no sink, they have been flea-infested, mosquito-infested, rat-infested, and cockroach-infested, but who’s complaining, that’s just mission right?
I have been involved in church planting missions for many years, I am presently working in India, and Nepal, but let's just keep to India since this is my primary mission field. Over the last number of years I have not met one church planting missionary, I have heard and seen those that travel to India, work in major cities and tag themselves with some developed church there, so basically, they come to India, stay in a nice hotel, give their testimony, maybe a little preaching, some singing, help out a little at an orphanage, preach to the converted, go home and tell everyone they are missionaries. Like I said, "Where have all the missionaries gone".
- The Preachers, Past:
Where would we be if it wasn't for the faithful pioneering preachers and missionaries from the past, we are the fruit of past preaching, a mission to those past preachers meant to take the Gospel to those that had not heard and win the lost to Christ. Men and women of passion and authority, they were prepared for any hardships, they left all behind and went forwards with nothing but their Bibles. They didn't just go on a two-week holiday to a foreign land and throw some mission work in, on the contrary, they left all and established the gospel in many remote places, some even died for the faith. Isn’t it interesting to hear the empty boasts of those that want to speak in tongues and yet can't tell anyone about Jesus in their own language? People today want to tag themselves with some title, Pastor, evangelists, and dare I say Apostle (Oh dear), and missionary etc. etc., and they produce nothing, so, where are all the missionaries”.
- The Preachers, Present:
Today we are living in strange times, many believers travel to other countries and get involved in some type of mission work, they go home show the photos and there you go that’s what a missionary now means. Of course, not for all, there are still those that have the call, and they go and do great works and I thank the Lord for them all. The thing is, people are looking to us, we are now the present generation of Missionaries, preachers, and evangelists and so on, and the question is, what legacy are we leaving behind, I include myself in this argument. Soul-winning as to be the primary focus for all mission’s work, along with church planting and all the social activities can follow, but once the gospel focus has been lost then the work becomes nothing but a social activity and non-relevant in regard to missionary work. We are the present generation, and we need to get back to biblical preaching and missions work, church planting mission must be the focus and all those that have the desire are to pray, support, send out, and get involved as best they can as time is running out.
- The Preachers, Future:
The generation below us (Those that are coming after us) would see in us what they would eventually become, now that is a worrying thought. If I were to be totally honest this generation seems to have lost its missionary focus and history, sound gospel preaching, doctrine, and biblical authority needs to be brought back into the pulpits, for true biblical expository preaching would only ever produce missionaries with some spine and backbone that would make the man of God desire to serve the Lord.
I have recently met a pastor who has a fifteen-year-old daughter that is totally paralysed from the neck down (She has recently died) and yet this man is a church-planting preacher that left his own country and works in the remote areas of Nepal. I stand with this man, he is a great example for us all, for many in the UK don’t or should I say won’t even attend church, they have some reason (One hundred and one of them) not to go, pitiful, spineless, and empty.
Heaven and Hell are the only destinations all are heading to, the missionaries who go and have the lost on their hearts will bring as many as they can into the kingdom by God’s grace, for it is a wise man that winneth souls (Proverbs 11:30). Preachers today need to have the passion; it’s a calling and not a hobby, they must look and learn from those that have gone before, and they must preach the gospel as it is, for as it is, it’s the power of God.
Orphanage Kothapeta, Andhra Pradesh
- Update and report:
Over the past two years we have seen slow work on the construction of the Moriel Orphanage, the location and the land had to be identified and then design of the building and construction to commence. Then we had the pandemic and all the problems that had brought, the constant lockdown, the stop and starting of the construction work, along with all the political rallies and difficulties in obtaining work and building materials. However, the work had made steady progress and we are right near to completion, and as you have probably guessed, the latest hindrance to the work had been the cyclones and heavy rains, but the orphanage is pretty much completed.
There are two main dorms, nice room and all have been tiled to make nice sleeping quarters one room each for the group of boys and girls. One large and main hall, toilet, and shower facilities, and one kitchen plus one office. The roof with a surrounding wall would act as a small playground, and also to be used as a main classroom during the severe heat during the summer months. So overall a pretty nice facility for the children that are going to be living there.
Greetings to all at Moriel,
I am Pastor Samuel Jaya Raju from Andhra Pradesh, India. I am in the service of the Lord since 2005. My wife’s name is Monali, she is an MBA graduate. God has blessed us with two sons Nathan Jairus 10 years and Mark Jeremias 7years (I named him after Mark Jackson). I work as a pastor and preacher. I go around my state and other states to deliver the word of God. Through this I brought many to Lord.
I am overwhelmed of happiness for being a part of Mark Jackson ministries in India. I came to know Mark from 2006. In all these years we shared the word of God in street meetings, conducted pastoral conferences, seminars and even gave baptisms to my church members, roof top preaching and many other outreach programmes.
In 2018 Brother Mark visited me along with Mr. Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries. On his visit here I arranged a pastor’s conference . Mr. Jacob delivered the word of God and the pastors who attended were blessed and gained knowledge in the way that was easy to apply in their ministry.
I always had a dream of running an orphanage. And this came true with the helping hand of Mr. Jacob. He came forward to buy the land and construct a building. Started the construction in 2020 March. The work was going smoothly but pandemic gave a break to the work. We expected the work to be completed by this time but the lockdowns in my area slowed down the work. Only the painting and electric work is left over. The left over work will come to an end by this month.
I would like to thank deep from my heart Moriel Ministries and the Board Members and also the sponsors who supported and also for the abundant love showered on us. I am eagerly waiting to participate in the ministry of Moriel Ministries in India. The orphanage will soon be opened.
My family and myself would also like to thank Bro. Mark Jackson for his great love and support towards my ministry.
SAMUEL in Christ
The ministry in the Punjab continues to go from strength to strength, weekly we are hearing of more families attending the meetings and the spread of the Gospel in many remote areas, it is very encouraging to hear the news of how the Gospel is being received by so many, but the work must continue.